International Institute of Modern Letters

MA Scriptwriting Students 2015

These are brief paragraphs about themselves written by each member of this year's class and emailed to the IIML at the start of the year. The intention is that they can read about each other before they meet face to face. We also hope these informal snapshots will make interesting reading in future years.

Introducing the class of 2015:

Matt Loveranes

Hey I'm Matt, I write genre fiction and hail from the Hutt Valley. Two facts which may or may not be interrelated. My favourite thing that's ever been written is The Social Network (2010). Don't ask why, I will spend more time talking about it than the film's actual running time. I aspire to have Woody Allen's career. JUST HIS CAREER! Failing that Lena Dunham's will do. Sometimes I also try to be funny.

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Greg Bennett

I was born in Otaki and grew up on several dairy farms in the lower North Island, Southland, and South Canterbury. I dont remember thinking all that much of film until my early teens, when a local rental shop began a deal where ten VHS tapes could be hired out for $10. I have been obsessed with film ever since.

I studied Film and English Literature (another passion) at Victoria University in Wellington, and after a few years overseas, I'm very happy to return and continue my studies. I love writing screenplays and a small handful of my short films have been directed by myself or others. I want to tell New Zealand stories and help other New Zealanders tell theirs. I hope that one day my own films can be hired out cheaply and in bulk.

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Rose Cann

I am a recent graduate of Victoria University with a BA in English Literature, Theatre and Anthropology, and just spent my final semester in Lyon. I grew up in England but have lived in New Zealand seven years, three of which were right here in Wellington. I am a member of Playshop improv company and another improv troupe called Definitely Not Witches, which is a troupe focused on women in comedy. I also have a radio slot at HumanFM and enjoy playing live music.

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James Cain

James Cain first got into writing through the Hamilton Fringe Festival, scripting monologues about an overly chummy comedian and a miserably distant romantic. Since then he's written and directed Horatio, a wry spinoff of Hamlet, and is in the process of completing Mortar, a script exploring the relationship between a demon and the poet he haunts. As one can probably tell he delights in the macabre and grotesque as well as gloriously black humour as these always help give the audience a good shiver.

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Ali Burns

I am 22 and originally from Whakatane, which is a pretty great place to grow up.  I have lived in Wellington for four years. The work I've done in film so far has been making a few music videos and a few documentaries. I would really like to make more and do it better. Most of my scripts are just writing down the things I should have said in arguments. It will be nice to create something bigger that I can hopefully be proud of. 

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Finnius Teppett

I don't have confidence in my ability to present myself. I just heard a recording of me speaking at an event over a year ago, which is enough passed time for me to not remember so clearly, and I hardly recognised the voice at the mic for being so far removed from what I know about the real insides of my brain. But here is my selective introduction: I enjoy writing plays and playing mechanic with some old motorbikes I bought off Trademe for cheap. I write plays on a wide range of themes, including: maternal attachments, lovers that resemble your mother, and breastfeeding.

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Niki Partsch

I have always loved stories and have never missed the opportunity to read, to watch or to listen as they unfold around me. I have lived and worked most of my life in Wellington but also grew up in Nelson (top of the South) and Te Teko (Eastern Bay of Plenty). Like so many other kids I enjoyed our beaches, lakes, hot pools and the freedom to roam.  My sister and I travelled with our young parents when they did their OE, two-plus years in the UK and Europe in an orange VW camper van. There were no cafes or hotels for us but we saw and experienced lots.  I am so grateful for my family and for the many people whose lives have crossed mine. They have all helped me to understand that the best life stories are absolutely everywhere.  It's all about the telling.

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Ryan Knighton

Like many other people in Wellington I have to keep busy creating in order to stay sane and sleep well. In my time on this earth I have been a Dungeon Master, an after-school caretaker, a writer and director for the stage and screen. I really like games. My favourite things I have done so far may have been writing and directing a show in 2014 called Foxes Mate for Life, directing I'll be Fine, and writing a beautiful short film disqualified from the 48 hour film competition for having the wrong sponsor written on a two- second end credit. Also improvising in Playshop is the best. I am greatly looking forward to being a Master.

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David Brechin-Smith

I grew up in Invercargill. I've lived in Wellington for twenty years and I've worked as a scriptwriter for some of that time, mainly in TV. I like writing, but I still haven¹t figured out exactly why that is. Someone once asked me how I, as a writer, would describe my 'voice'. I couldn¹t give the person a straight answer. It made me think. I'm looking forward to this year, to picking brains, making good ideas better, telling good stories.